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Thread: Tanabata Pairing Exchange Contest (2017) Voting and Judging

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    渇き Kirby's Avatar
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    Tanabata Pairing Exchange Contest (2017) Voting and Judging

    OR: There will never be a poll.

    A literal copy-paste, because the rules are just pretty much same rules as last time:

    Any member of BL can vote and participate in judging, even if you didn't write anything. If you vote for your own fic (as in, the one you wrote), that vote won't count and will go wasted

    Each voter gets up to three votes, that works by ranking your top 3 fics. Your top fic gets 3 points, your second-place fic gets 2 points, your third-place gets 1 point. Of course, if you don't have a top 3, you don't have to vote for three fics. In the end, all the points are tallied up and whichever fic has the most points is the winner. To vote, post the votes and rankings in this thread. No, you don't have to read every single fic to vote.

    Voting closes in about a week, 7/18. You can also post your reviews in this thread.

    Link to the fics
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

  2. #2
    Eightfold Blessings of Smug Superiority Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    3 pts: Bonny & Clyde & the Eight-Hour Adventure
    2 pts: Colour
    1 pt: Last Winter

    Nothing I outright hated or had to take more than one try to read, so this contest passes muster in my book.
    Supports:


    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  3. #3
    Κύρια Ἐλέησον Seika's Avatar
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    When I'm actually in the contest, my usual style of review suddenly starts looking like I'm trying to drag people down. Also, the smaller number of contestants make it kinda hard to conceal my entry, which I kinda want to do. (Though I suspect it's pretty clear already).

    Hmmmm.
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    Hey, what are you making me do...? Nacho the Doritosedge's Avatar
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    3 points: Bonny & Clyde & the Eight-Hour Adventure

    didn't read the rest lol

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    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Reviews later, but here are my votes:
    1st place: "Colour"
    2nd place: "Bonny & Clyde & the Eight-Hour Adventure"
    3rd place: "Last Winter"
    My fanfics:
    The Gift (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot)
    - A duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
    Passion Acknowledged (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) (Lemon) - Shirou and Shinji finally acknowledge their feelings.
    He Was a Good King (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) - A short exploration of Beowulf's character as a hero and a king.

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    マリーの味方 Sesto's Avatar
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    3 points: Last Winter
    2 points: Colour
    1 points: A fairytale of love and death


  7. #7
    Κύρια Ἐλέησον Seika's Avatar
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    3 points to Last Winter


    Bonny & Clyde

    This felt badly over-thesaurused at points - words often in the wrong register, or simply with a related but incorrect definition. Perhaps with similar cause, more than a couple of mis-spellings.
    Register in general was inconsistent. Yeah, Teach and Shakespeare are intruding on the narrative voice at times, and neither want to be how you do your entire tone (though it’d be an interesting trick to pull off) but there’s some way too formal stuff in there that gets distracting and slows down the pace. I think it's particularly notable and problematic in this case - a number of the other 'fics do it too - because this is a meme-ridden humour 'fic. It really clashes.
    Significant excess of adjectives and adverbs at points. (*Giant HYPOCRITE sign lights up*)
    For all that I’m not a great fan of the prose itself, there’s decent humour in here and the dialogue sustains a flow for the most part, which is a skill.
    51/100


    Galatea
    Horrendous tense issues in the back half.
    Many other minor prose issues, e.g.: 'stray white-locks' shouldn’t have the hyphen; 'overhead icicle above the gate' is badly redundant; epitheting him as ‘the young man’ twice in a three-sentence paragraph is poor composition; ‘blond-hair woman’ is a genuinely bizarre way of doing that description, just from a grammatical point of view. What was wrong with ‘blonde’ or ‘blonde-haired’? (Besides this, please don’t make people’s hair colours their epithet at all. It’s lazy, it conveys nothing of interest in almost any circumstance, and it’s massively over-used).
    I don’t do Prisma, so I’m lacking a lot of the context here, especially emotionally. That said, I just don’t think this was evocative enough to do what it wanted to do. It’s not that it was too short, though expanding on the key star-gazing moment might have been to the author’s benefit as a partial remedy, but it simultaneously managed to state some things too bluntly to be emotionally effective while not expanding on others to the necessary degree.
    27/100


    All One Can Do
    Decent characterisation, and it shares a lot with one of the paths I see for a post-Fate Shirou/Ilya relationship of any stripe.
    This is a rather idiosyncratic issue of mine, since it’s prose after all, but there’s a lack of rhythm to your sentences and it makes me feel sad and weird.
    On a related but more objective note, for a piece that’s quite contemplative and slow in its subject matter, this is too stuttery. There are points at which it’s effective, when Ilya’s thinking about how hard it is to cling on to life, but it’s ubiquitous, and that’s to its detriment. In any story, whatever the length, there should be variety in the pacing of the prose: in one like this, the need for some longer sentences, with proper grammar and more space to develop a thought, is particularly acute.
    As whenever I see someone chaining all sorts of commas together - not necessarily ungrammatically, but even just in a case where it’s degrading clarity - I highly recommend to you the benefits of some slight revisions to incorporate colons and semi-colons. It can really make things read so much better.
    Some number of prose slips: ‘everyday day’; ‘He will call every day, he said’, &c.
    62/100


    In The Silence
    Sometimes too purple, sometimes stilted (the ‘HYPOCRITE’ sign lights up again) but I think it basically accomplishes what it set out to accomplish.
    Also just … a bit trite? Like, Herk’s basically giving a Saturday morning cartoon speech about how hate is really bad and you’ll get caught up in it to become bad too and maybe it’s a misunderstanding, and Ilya goes, “NOOOOO, IT CAN’T POSSIBLY BE, HATE YOU HATE YOU HATE YOU FOR JUST SAYING IT, oh you’re right.”
    64/100


    Last Winter
    ‘I returned her gaze and continue’ is missing a d.
    I’m a definite supporter of ‘they’ as a neutral singular pronoun, but ‘themselves’ is still grammatical over ‘theirself’ in that case.
    Otherwise, YES MY PROMPT GOT A COMPETENT WRITER AND A GREAT FILL THANK YOU SO MUCH.
    I liked the spectre of Kiritsugu haunting them a lot: that was a fantastic setting decision.
    Just generally, the use of time in this ‘fic was great. The way you worked with the characters’ pasts, present, and futures all tied together so well and really made the ‘fic more than just the sum of its prose.
    89/100


    As Not Requested
    Incomplete as it is, this is broadly effective.
    My personal preference would be for this to be a little more understated, but one can see why it’s not, especially if you knew you were going to have to post it as a standalone instead of as part of your intended fuller ‘fic.
    I definitely think the descriptive part of the prose is too much though. Slightly fewer adjectives, and less rich ones, would improve the reading.
    Decent humour.
    Occasional awkwardness and mistakes in prose: ‘put a minimal amount of effort to look’ -> ‘put in/used’ ‘Killing time away’ -> ‘killing time’/’whiling away time’; ‘gasped aghast’; ‘doesn’t matter does it’ without a question mark; &c.
    66/100


    Fairytale
    There’s nothing wrong with a pastiche, at least in theory, but this one is really quite inconsistent in its application, which undermines the whole thing. The prose can’t stick well enough to a particular style or register well enough - an accent suddenly drops in at one point; abbreviations come and go; it hits genuinely and deeply purple instead at several stages instead of just being rich - to carry the idea off.
    Dialogue tagging isn’t great: remember, when doing ‘“Blahblahblah,” she said,’ you need that comma, and you need it inside the speech marks.
    I appreciate the salmon leap as a nod to the original mythology.
    46/100
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    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors SpoonyViking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seika View Post
    The prose can’t stick well enough to a particular style or register well enough [...]
    Oh, some of it is intentional. For instance, the scenes in the Land of Shadows are meant to be written in the style of a fairytale, while the scenes in ancient Ireland are meant to be written in a more narrative style (which I tried to make similar to the one used by translations of Norse sagas in general and the Ulster cycle specifically). This is entirely my fault, though, since the fic is still incomplete - there was supposed to be another scene in the Land of Shadows which (hopefully) would have highlighted the change in styles. I also wanted to give Scáthach something of an accent - based on what I've seen of her translated dialogue, she is written as having one, unlike Cú Chulainn -, but also didn't want to go overboard with it (a proper Scottish brogue is a pain to write and read!).

    Of course, intent isn't magic, so I take your criticism as well-deserved, particularly on the purpleness of the prose (in fact, may I pester you for some additional pointers regarding it? I do like good purple prose, but I'm still having trouble not crossing the line).

    Dialogue tagging isn’t great: [...]
    Yeah, other than using quotation marks instead of dashes, I never remember English rules for dialogue tagging. I need to brush up on those.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hold on, you wrote "Colour"? But the fic thanks Seika for beta reading and...
    Oh, clever misdirection, Seika. Clever misdirection!
    My fanfics:
    The Gift (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot)
    - A duel between Cú Chulainn and Scáthach.
    Passion Acknowledged (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) (Lemon) - Shirou and Shinji finally acknowledge their feelings.
    He Was a Good King (a Fate/Stay Night one-shot) - A short exploration of Beowulf's character as a hero and a king.

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    Salt Manju Vacha's Avatar
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    Top pick
    • In the Silence


    1st runner up
    • Last Winter


    2nd runner up :
    • Bonny & Clyde & the Eight-Hour Adventure


    - - - Updated - - -

    Deciding between 1st place and 2nd was quite difficult
    Last edited by Vacha; July 13th, 2017 at 02:58 AM.
    Kentucky Fried Kirei, nah i'm joking. Nothin here

    well, told ya.


    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    'kay
    You jest?:3

    Even ▆▆ end up on that place again

    The special hell on hill full of swords ---------------------------------------------------------The hill of bloody battlefield

  10. #10
    Κύρια Ἐλέησον Seika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyViking View Post
    Oh, some of it is intentional. For instance, the scenes in the Land of Shadows are meant to be written in the style of a fairytale, while the scenes in ancient Ireland are meant to be written in a more narrative style (which I tried to make similar to the one used by translations of Norse sagas in general and the Ulster cycle specifically). This is entirely my fault, though, since the fic is still incomplete - there was supposed to be another scene in the Land of Shadows which (hopefully) would have highlighted the change in styles. I also wanted to give Scáthach something of an accent - based on what I've seen of her translated dialogue, she is written as having one, unlike Cú Chulainn -, but also didn't want to go overboard with it (a proper Scottish brogue is a pain to write and read!).
    I meant more within the various parts. For example, the main scene has a lot of grand language - vocative "O", "glittering wealth" and so on - but also lots of authorial interjections. Neither are bad by themselves, per se, but the two are rarely found with such high frequency together in your genres. Sagas and epics tend to reserve apostrophe (in the rhetorical sense) for moments of high importance, rather than as a consistent feature. It affects the register - too much of this starts tracking you back toward fairytale land, which is less well-fitted to the vocabulary you're using. In the same vein, there were points at which you either used a contraction in the middle of more arch language, or avoided it while you were being more colloquial.

    Scáthach, in register and accent, is suffering from those inconsistencies too: consider how she speaks to Fedelmid and how she speaks to the invaders. In both cases, she's described as being 'cold', and apparently has her pride pricked while maintaining a veneer of calmness. Yet in her first conversation, she's notably archaic in her constructions, uses no contractions, and lacks any accent; in her second, she's suddenly gained something of the accent, started using contractions, and is relatively more modern and informal. (Imagine, for example, if 'Fret not' had been 'dinnae fret').


    particularly on the purpleness of the prose (in fact, may I pester you for some additional pointers regarding it? I do like good purple prose, but I'm still having trouble not crossing the line).
    Let's be real, I'm pretty sure this is something I'm also bad at, so you may take this advice with a hint of salt. Something one should always be keeping in mind is the necessity of any given adjective or adverb. There are lunatics who think without qualification that adverbs are a sign of defective writing, and while they remain lunatics, it's true that these kinds of words are embellishments by their nature. Consider whether they pay for themselves, adding enough meaning to offset the way they weigh down your writing.

    I think consistency is another, less obvious point to keep in mind - one of the reasons purple prose is bad is that it introduces severe bathos. The reader thinks "that's absurd" when going from normal narrative to poetic harping, or is left crashing down to earth after a flight of fancy. Ironing that out and keeping the levels the same restricts that possibility, even if your consistent tone is rather richer than normal. Also, it's actually difficult to write full-on purple prose all the time, so if you try to keep everything at a broadly similar level, you'll naturally find yourself cutting down on some of the more egregious instances.


    I know as well that there are cases where you've come up with something you think is a really good image or turn of phrase, and you really want to keep it, but it can simply end up not fitting the rest of what you've written. I feel like this with the metaphor of Scáthach being a crimson flower blooming on the battlefield - it's got a neat sense of paradox in it, but you're not doing anything with the contrast you've created. It's just "beauty and death, ooooooh", and nothing really builds out from there, because we just go on to Scáthach continuing her slaughter, where aesthetics don't feature. Another one I'd pick up is the spears being powerful enough to break the bonds of blood and love, which is a very interesting way to describe death, one I like - but, again, nothing really happens with it. You're conjuring up pathos with a poetic phrase, and then not justifying it by continuing to expand on the idea. That means a reader's going to feel like it was unnecessary, a showy flourish rather than a meaningful bit of writing. This is one of the fundamental markers of purple prose: description for the sake of description, rather than acting as an organic part of the text.
    Beast's Lair: Useful Notes
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  11. #11
    Climb The Tower Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    3 Points - Colour
    2 Points - Last Winter
    1 Point - Bonnie and Clyde, the eight hour adventure.

    I don't have the time to write more in depth commentary at the moment but I definitely will at some point, this week if not today.

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    死徒 Dead Apostle TwilightsCall's Avatar
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    I really need to read all of these and write up my votes/reviews before I read other people's thoughts next time.


    3 Points: Colour
    I feel like there is something in this piece (or maybe more acccurately, these pieces) that doesn't jive with me, but it is undeniably the best piece of work submitted. Perhaps it was just the stop and go nature of the little vignettes, but while I didn't find all of them particularly exciting, there were definitely some in there that I liked a lot. Even some minor misgivings aside, this was easily my favourite of the lot. While I'm not sure I gave the piece the time it deserved in reading it, I appreciated the richness and authenticity of the characters, especially Rin, a lot, and the fact that unlike many of the other entries we got an actual substantive amount of material to read was also very pleasing. I don't mean to knock the shorter variety of short stories, but sometimes having a wealth of text to immerse yourself in is a major plus.

    2 Points: Bonny & Clyde & the Eight-Hour Adventure
    I liked the premise of the story a lot (the whole dream adventure thing), and I feel like Teach's character really came across nicely. The points I would say kept this from being ranked first for me were the kind of anti-climactic ending to the adventure ("...and then they won"), and the shallowness of Gudako as a character. At first I thought maybe the latter was a casualty caused by the former, but I'm not sure that's the case. Perhaps it just stood out to me more than usual because of how richly the other characters (even some very minor ones) came across in comparison. Either way, an interesting read, certainly worth my time and definitely worth the 2 points.

    1 Point: In The Silence
    This was the prompt I submitted. I kind of waffled for a while about how I felt about it, but in the end I think I have to say I like the ideas that went into it. I hadn't really thought at all as to what Herk and Illya might talk about, so I was looking forward to which direction the author would take. All in all, I think the intention and theme was good, but the execution found itself kneecapped by the short length. I feel like the intense emotional shift shown in the fic really requires a lot more elaboration than the author afforded it. Regardless, the overall concept was certainly good food for thought, and I like that the author approached Illya from a different angle then I usually think to. Thanks for writing my prompt!

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    渇き Kirby's Avatar
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    Voting closes in 12 hours
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

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    渇き Kirby's Avatar
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    pool's closed
    Quote Originally Posted by Dullahan View Post
    there aren't enough gun emojis in the thousandfold trichiliocosm for this shit


    Linger: Complete. August, 1995. I met him. A branch off Part 3. Mikiya keeps his promise to meet Azaka, and meets again with that mysterious girl he once found in the rain.
    Shinkai: Set in the Edo period. DHO-centric. As mysterious figures gather in the city, a young woman unearths the dark secrets of the Asakami family.
    The Dollkeeper: A Fate side-story. The memoirs of the last tuner of the Einzberns. A record of the end of a family.
    Overcount 2030: Extra x Notes. A girl with no memories is found by a nameless soldier, and wakes up to a world of war.

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