FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

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Total Votes : 12

Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:41 pm

Hm... I have to admit that I am extremely disappointed that the four people who voted didn't say anything about why they voted the way they did. =\

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Gadreille on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:52 pm

Or the fact that only four people voted...
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Fate Flyer on Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:10 pm

Yes... I was hoping to get a lot more votes for this before the voting period ended. I had assumed far more people would be interested in reading the entries and, for the first time ever, being able to vote and participate. If we don't have any more votes, I'm afraid I'll have to extend the voting period a bit longer.

It also would be nice to see some feedback as well. I personally still plan on saying a few words just as soon as I have some time to sit down where I'm not concentrating on doing something else. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:21 pm

Yes. The fact that only four people have voted is as disappointing to me as the fact that none of those four people said a single word about their choice.

I was hoping that my saying a few words about my two favorite stories would have encouraged more people to be like, "Hey! I want to read these stories!" and/or "Hey! I want to say why I voted the way I did."

Bleh...

I look forward to reading what you have to write, Fate. Your feedback is always good to read. I just wish people who are actually voting would do the same. ._.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Artorius on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:32 pm

I'm sorry kathryn! and fate! and ryona! I'll get up a review as soon as possible, my days are just pretty busy with AP homework, and football practice, and a musical. I realize you wanted feedback so as to improve your writing and who am I to keep you from it? I'll be back to give a review as soon as possible.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:33 pm

Thanks so much, Artorius!

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Bird of Hermes on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:08 pm

I can't find the voting deadline. I could have sworn it was in August. -_-

Anyway, I do plan to read these and vote. Expect something from me once I finish reading. Sorry for completely forgetting about this.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Mojave Wanderer on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:16 pm

Sorry about not putting anything about why I voted for what I voted for, but I tend to offend others and I'd rather avoid that. I believe the deadline is August 13, but I could be mistaken.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:49 pm

Bird, I'm pretty sure it's also August. Fate wants to give at least a month of voting time.

Mojave, you can't please everyone, and it's obvious that you favor one story beyond the rest. We're all mature, and I'm pretty sure all of those who wrote a story are adults, so I'm certain we can take whatever critique you have to give. As long as you aren't like, "Well, the other stories just sucked." it should be fine. After all, there's a difference between being rude and giving your opinion.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Fate Flyer on Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:06 pm

Voting ends August 13th.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:14 am

I still haven't been able to deduce with 100% certainty who wrote what, so that's cool. xD

I'll post some preliminary thoughts now, to spur things along. I want to avoid full, in-depth reviews until after it's all over. I've also decided to read them all a second time for this, to help. It is currently 1:37am. Okay, go!

*goes*

1:55 for the first story. So, just shy of 20 minutes for Entry #1. It might be a bit longer on the first read, I suppose, but at least there's a rough estimate for new readers. Very Happy

Thoughts:
I found this to be a good story to illustrate shades with mental abilities. The use of first person throughout helps illustrate what happens in the mind, I think. Also it was nice to see nifty gadgets and have a look at the world of crime on Caligo. If I were to ask the author to add or clarify something, it would be more delineation between the different sets of victims and on the relationship between Aurelius and Sasha. I liked how it ended. It made the story feel to me like a pilot episode for a TV show.


*next* 2:04am, start.
2:17am. 13 minutes, so, about a quarter of an hour for Entry #2. I think it went faster partly because the story flowed well.

Thoughts:
A beautiful tragedy, and a good highlight of the difference between the mortal and immortal on Caligo. I liked the lovers' relationship in the beginning. Finding out the character flaw of the man who couldn't bring himself to go back, I thought it was a clever way to tie together the shadeless and the tragic loss. If I were to suggest any improvements, it would be to have some definite information on what exactly happened to the husband's shade. The ending sealed the tragedy. I got the feeling everything would eventually go back to normal, but right then, it's the worst moment of her life. It feels to me like a perfect backstory.


*next* 2:26am, Entry #3 start.
2:43. Same as Entry #1, just short of 20 minutes.

Thoughts:
This one has a lot of action, and it gives us a glimpse into an important moment in Caligo history. I enjoyed seeing so many different eye-colors for shades and abilities, as well as appearances of Lux and Noxus, and Charlie. All I would suggest on this one would be a bit of polish; I like all the elements as they are, so some more fine tuning would make it even better. I liked the positive tone of the ending, that despite the disastrous circumstances, there is hope for a new beginning and a better future.


*next* 2:54am, Entry #4 start.
3:31am. Wow, I'm not sure how this one took 37 minutes. That's about double.

Thoughts:
This one seems to have more of a geography flavor, along with the romance. There was a lot of description of places packed into everything, which might be what took me longer to read. I enjoyed all the hints and tie-ins to the title throughout. If I were to advise the author for any improvements, it would be more clarity on how exactly all of it worked. I think I deduced more of it this time. I liked the visuals of the ending. It felt to me pretty climactic, as if it could be a movie.


*last one* 3:41am, start.
3:50, not even 10 minutes for Entry #5. By far the shortest.

Thoughts:
Split into two parts, the first feels to me like the first scene of a movie, and the second like the prologue of a novel. With writing this good, I was disappointed that it was so short. Still, it works well enough; adding more would probably end up feeling like filler. Actually, this feels to me like it'd be perfect as a backround post for a Caligo role-play. The first part especially was quite gripping.


*done*
Whoo! Coolio!
Reading them all a second time was fun. Very Happy
Let's see, then...
20, 15, 20, 40, 10. All together, somewhere in the ballpark of an hour and a half, to read all of them in a row.

Thoughts Overall:
Each story brought its own things to Caligo. We had Crime & Mystery, then Life & Mortality, then Action & History, then Geography & Romance, and finally Doom & Suspense. In addition, all seem to take place in different eras, so together all the entries have probably added a lot of good stuff to the timeline.

I'm really looking forward to having more people vote. I hope all the active members get a chance before the voting ends. This contest has been a great opportunity to fill in some stuff about Caligo without having to make a whole role-play on it. It'll be exciting to see what gets accepted as canon, and what, if anything, is taken more as legendary accounts.

Either way, all the stories are great. I'm sure people will find it difficult to choose just one--I know I did. ^_^

Enjoy!
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Artorius on Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:53 pm

Hey guys, I'm really intending to review these, I just have to catch up on my RPing first.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Blade Barrier on Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:06 pm

Before I give my reviews, I’d just like to state a few things.
Firstly, although I have had my work looked over by professional editors, I am not a published author, nor do I plan on being one any time soon. If my critique seems harsh you can feel free to ignore it. Having said that, I’m not trying to offend or belittle anyone, and I’m just stating what I see.

Secondly, I understand everyone lives and breathes Caligo, but after reading about it in the info section, I can’t say I was really impressed by it. I understand its so vague as to make role playing easier and more enjoyable, but I just don’t see how an island full of people with talking animals that make them invincible and immortal could be very interesting. It’s kind of hard to have a close scrape with death when you’re so hard to kill. Mixing magic and technology is also something that gives most publishers headaches and nightmares.

Still, I was interested in seeing what you guys could do, albeit with lowered expectations.

ENTRY#1:

This story was a lot more interesting than I thought it was going to be. I liked the idea, but the execution was kind of sloppy. It was never stated who’s shade Raksha was until jack went to bed and she rolled up next to him. You also don’t know the point-of-view character’s name until about halfway through the story. It was also confusing when thoughts that belonged to someone else were introduced into Jack’s mind and he acted them out as if they were his. I found myself frequently backtracking to see if I missed something. There were also a few run-on sentences and miss-punctuations, but nothing “too” major.

All in all, not bad, but it would have been soooo much better if it was just organized a bit better.

ENTRY#2:

I can’t complain with how this story was written. It all seemed to be in good order, and it didn’t try to be longer than it had to. Unfortunately, it had a very strong start, and ended kind of, well… cheesy. Maybe I’ve just read too many short horror stories to take this one seriously. Still, it was well written, especially in the beginning.

ENTRY#3:

I really don’t know what to think about this one. The writing was okay, the action was okay, the story was okay, everything’s just, okay. I guess not every piece of writing can be so easily summarized. I suppose I would have liked to see some more details, and maybe more character interactions. I feel like I saw the tail-end of a good movie, but there’s not enough here for me to fully appreciate it.

ENTRY#4:

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit worried when I read the first part of this story. I thought that it was probably the most interesting part and I kind of felt detached from all the emotion. I expected it to just tumble downhill from there.

I was wrong, very wrong.

The writing is solid, the details vivid without seeming “candy coated”, the characters interesting and the plot was surprisingly pleasant. I don’t typically care for sappy stories like this, but at the risk of looking like a sap myself, this is the third time I’ve ever felt like I was about to cry reading something. I actually wish there was more to read!

ENTRY#5

The shortest entry here, and not surprising, the best written. This story has the best “picture” quality out of all of them. The author was clearly going for quality over quantity. I’m not surprised to see it is so highly voted. However, It feels more like an intro and less like a story. Still, very good work. THIS is real writing.

MY VOTE:

Entries #1, #2, and #3 were a solid effort, but they’re kind of sloppy. I would advise these authors to spend more time looking for mistakes instead of imperfections next time they proof their stories.

Although #5 was very well written and is a work of art, #4 gets my vote. The author of this piece managed to write a story and emotionally move me in under 5K words.

CONCLUSION:

I guess I was wrong. Although Caligo is a publisher’s nightmare come true and has an armada of immortals and talking pets… it’s actually an interesting place. I’m actually interested in making my own character for Caligo now.

I do advise that all the writers, regardless of how many or how few people vote for you, to keep writing.

I also advise the rest of the community to vote for these poor bastards. It took me 2-3 hours to read them all, but there are some good stories in here. Also, these stories probably took some time to write, re-write, and then write again until it was right. Please don’t make me the last voter.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by StalkerX on Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:14 pm

I read these storys, it was a little dificult mostly do to the fact I am now familier with the world in wich they take place, so some of the terminoligys regarding the creatures were difficult to pick up... but I'm a fast learner.

The storys were all interesting in there own ways, and it was verry hard for me to cast my vote.

I was moved by many of them, but Entry 4 pulled me in to its enviorment, it was simple enough for me to pick up on, and was a nice read.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:39 am

Finally, here are my reviews. I apologize for not posting this sooner. Life and other issues kept getting in the way. I definitely have learned now though to type up my thoughts as I'm reading in the future, since now I've forgotten a lot of the stories and am having to reread through them again. Doh

I also just wanted to say that these are my own thoughts and opinions on these and in no way necessarily reflect how further voters should place their votes. Please vote according to who you think should win and which story you thought was best, but please only do so after reading through each one.



Entry #1


    What struck me as unique right off the bat was the fact that this was written in the first person, something you don't always see a lot of. For the purposes of this story, it served it perfectly, as you, the reader, got to have a more personal, inside perspective on the story.

    The next thing in this story that I picked out as I was reading as a bit of added goodness was the fact that this author did some preliminary research, not only into Caligo obviously, but also into the names of things, such as Raksha being named after the wolf in The Jungle Book. Charon's Gate was also a perfectly suiting name after Charon, the Greek ferryman. Additionally, the use of Latin words, like Aequitas and Veritas, stayed amazingly true to Caligo itself, as many names of things in Caligo (including the name Caligo itself) are in Latin. I just found myself being overall impressed with all the names in this story.

    The story was mostly told through dialogue, and while it was executed effectively, I did find myself longing a bit more for some added details. Granted, the author didn't exactly have the space to spare for anymore writing. I did really like how things kind of came full circle eventually. I remember at one point, there were a pair of finches that shook the clothes line "violently," and I was thinking, "Wow, that can't be right. Finches would not shake a clothes line violently... Maybe they just couldn't picture it correctly in their mind?" Then, later on, I come to find out the finches were actually Inklaws in disguise! The author did an excellent job of bringing your attention to that moment, and moments like that, along with the ending, left me surprised.

    Towards the end, I did find myself getting lost at times, and I did have to reread this one over. I think that the ideas in this story were pretty amazing, but they would be best suited for either a full-length role-play or a short story. All-in-all, I definitely think this is worth a read, if you haven't done so already. It'll get your gears turning, and that is something always worth your time!



Entry #2


    This and entry number four were both ones that tugged on your heart. There was a lot of ground covered in this story, and it almost seemed like a short story you would read in a book that was a collection of short stories, since there was a setting, a conflict, a rising action, a climax, and a solid and dramatic ending. It was very clear and easy to read and understand, while at the same time quite entertaining and heartfelt. Even though I knew what ultimately happened (since I know the author and their characters), I found myself wishing it weren't the case, and I also enjoyed reading about how it all happened, giving me extra insight into the author's characters.

    I think the only thing this story could benefit from would be a longer character count limit. More details would captivate and pull the reader in even deeper and on an even more emotional level. Of course, being that this is a contest with a limit on characters, it is up to each entrant to delegate those characters wisely and effectively, and for that purpose, I think this person did a good job.

    For anyone who is into tragic romance, this tale will deliver!



Entry #3


    This story started out a little confusing, but that clearly was the intention. I found that it drew me in right away, since I wanted to know and find out what exactly was going on. It was a clever technique. I also liked seeing that this story was given a title, and a very suiting one.

    Of course, this entry did have one somewhat major error in that the Bownytes were referred to as "brownytes." While I found it didn't take away from the story, I did feel bad that the author thought I had named the Shades as such, since they probably thought I was crazy for calling a Shade brown anything, being that they are all black in color.

    I thought that this story was very well written, and the research and planning that went into it is clearly able to see. I also really loved seeing the author's interpretation of the canon Illuminor twins, Lux and Noxus. It was truly entertaining to get to read about how they pictured the fall of the Caligoans at the hands of the gods. Charlie, our ghostly mascot, even made an appearance. I thought that was really interesting to include (especially the "bloody hell!").

    The action in this story was incredibly entertaining, and the ending when the Provectus appeared and spoke was so vivid, I could just picture their voices. The ending also paved the road for present day Caligo nicely. The detail in this too, from the emotions of Liluye, to the painting of the setting was executed quite nicely. I really found myself enjoying this one quite a lot.



Entry #4


    This story should be friends with entry number two. Both are tragic romances, but this story surprised the reader by ending on an uplifting note. This one, like the previous entry, also had a title, which was not required, but it was a night touch.

    I did find that the dates were getting confusing. I think this story might have benefited slightly more from simple headers, like, "One Year Ago," or "Present Day," etc. It wasn't necessary for the story to know the exact dates other than the year, and I found myself getting distracted by that, paying too much attention to the dates in my head. That could just be that I'm strange though and let that bother me too much.

    Something I really liked about this story was that it did one of those awesome flash forwards in the beginning, one where you get to see a glimpse into the future in which something awful is happening. Then, for the rest of the story, with that in mind, you are just feeling an overwhelming sense of dread and despair, knowing that it can't end well. That, I thought, was what really blew me away, since the author kind of tricked the reader by making them believe the woman Ilaris was doomed when, in the actual ending, she was saved.

    I enjoyed reading about how this romance came to be, and it was a very sweet tale. I did find it to be a little corny at times with the dialogue, but as a whole, I did think this story was worth a read, especially if you are into mysteries, as there is a little of that too involved in the form of a riddle. It was clear to me that the author was definitely feeling the emotions of their story, and that carried through into their writing nicely, bringing it to life. I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a bit of romance with some added twists.



Entry #5


    This story started off immediately in the heat of all the action, and while the scene was laid out in perfect detail, I found that some paragraphs should have been broken up a bit more in places. I liked that we got to see this author's interpretation of the machine of mass destruction created on Caligo and the devastation it was capable of causing on the world. That was something I had yet to imagine or picture, and seeing it first from the perspective of the Outsiders was unique.

    Shifting over to the perspective of the Caligoans, we learn that a child is responsible for their doom, and it is unclear as to why. Since no one chooses to kill the baby, we are left wary, wondering what will happen with it in the future.

    This entire story left things up in the air, leaving you, the reader, to imagine what may happen. Although entries could be as short as the author likes for this contest, it is up to each entrant to judge how much is appropriate to get everything across for their story idea. I liked the idea behind this story quite a lot, and I really wanted to see more of what happened. I think the one thing that could have benefited this story would just be some more details, perhaps even just something like flash forwarding ahead to when the baby is an adult and getting to see what they're doing that will be Caligo's downfall, and then cutting out dramatically at the ending before some giant disaster occurs. If you're into leaving things up to your imagination though and enjoy a lot of action, then you should find that you will enjoy this story.




Thank you guys for all your hard work and participation! I hope that we can have many more successful writing contests in the future. Good luck to all of you, and I look forward to seeing who the winner will be!

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:52 pm

Just a reminder -- Everyone has until this Saturday to get their votes in!

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:44 am

I would like to thank all those who participated in this contest. All of your hard work and energy that went into these stories was clearly evident, and I for one can say that they were thoroughly enjoyable! You each deserve recognition, and I would just like to say that you all did a fantastic job!

There can only be one winner though, and while I do wish we received more voters, I would like to sincerely thank all those who did take the time to vote, especially if you even managed to say a little something about how you voted. Your participation in helping to decide a winner was greatly appreciated.

The winner of this contest is...

Silvone Elestahr!

Please join me in congratulating him on his winning contest entry! Great job, Silvone. It seemed fairly unanimous early on that your story should be the victor. It will now forever be placed in the Hall of Fame!

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Gadreille on Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:50 am

Clap Good Job Silvone!
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Blade Barrier on Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:49 pm

Wow, really? I'm kind of new to the forum, but I wouldn't have guessed he had such an articulate writing style.

Congratulations Silvone. That was some fancy writing.


What's the chance of us finding out who wrote the other stories?
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Gadreille on Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:53 pm

Well, I can tell you that I wrote Entry #2, and that all criticism it received was spot on! I used this contest to flesh out the background of my character and my prize is finally having that background Smile
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:55 pm

Congratulations, Silvone!

Ryona, I totally knew you wrote the second entry! That's probably because we're both in a role-play regarding Caligo where you use that character. =3


Hm... I don't see any harm in divulging who wrote what, but because it's not my decision to make regarding all of the other entries, I'll simply say that I wrote Entry #3.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:11 pm

Wow! Thank you, everyone Very Happy I kind of wish there had been more voters... but I'll take what I can get.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:32 pm

For those who are interested in seeing who wrote what...

Entry #1 was written by Misery
Entry #2 was written by Ryona Noel
Entry #3 was written by Kathryn Lacey
Entry #4 was written by Kalon Ordona II
Entry #5 was written by Silvone Elestahr

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Blade Barrier on Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:16 pm

Ah, excellent.

Well, you all did a fine job. I wonder what the next contest is going to be about, or when it'll take place.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:15 pm

Fate Foretold wrote:I think the one thing that could have benefited this story would just be some more details, perhaps even just something like flash forwarding ahead to when the baby is an adult and getting to see what they're doing that will be Caligo's downfall, and then cutting out dramatically at the ending before some giant disaster occurs.

I am not sure if this came across properly, but the reason I left that out was because I figured I had already gone full-circle, or nearly so. The ability to see the future upon touching an object usually revolves around that object itself. So, basically the vision of Norman is the future of the child. I mentioned that Norman found the machine and activated it at some point in the past, and now he is responsible for it. So I did not think it necessary to go into that any more than I had (at least, not without it being a much longer story). For it being a short story, I felt like I had covered enough of the points to make it go full-circle, but perhaps I could have linked it better. And I did have room to make it longer, but that really wasn't where I wanted to go with it.

Anyway, that is my explanation for what seems to be the greatest shortcoming in my story.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Bird of Hermes on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:29 pm

Congratulations, Silvone, and all the others who entered! I loved reading all of your stories.
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:33 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention...

I have no idea where on Earth I got the idea in my head that Bownytes are Brownytes. I never envisioned it as "brown-YTE" so much as "brow-NYTE," so it's not like I was thinking it was some weird colour name for them. I think at one point, I had it in my head that they were brownytes, and someone corrected me, but I was absent from the site for a while after that. I guess when I came back I'd forgotten about that person correcting me, but I have the feeling it did happen. ^x_x^

I know better now. I'll remember for sure.

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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:29 am

Congratulations, everyone! cheers

So Silvone wrote that one, eh? Coool.
Misery being in the contest is what threw me; I never knew who wrote 1 or 5.
2 was easy, because the character's name is Brenna. For 3, honestly I didn't notice the 'brownytes' until people mentioned it, so at first, because it had all the Caligo people in it, I thought maybe Fate had entered, but since none of the others entries seemed to match Kathryn I figured it had to be her.
And of course, 4 was easy. xD Since it's about my Caligo characters, I deliberately left off filling in my Caligo Main Character even though I have all the information, so that nobody could look me up and see the character in my profile. Laughing

Awesome contest; loved it. And people even voted for mine, too, so that was awesome! cheers
I liked your feedback about the timestamps, Fate. I think I might have realized it was tough to keep track of if I hadn't been so worried about the wordcount. As it was I had to micromanage and rephrase to get it under 5,000 without losing anything important. Laughing

And now that the contest is over, I think we should all talk about our stories a bit. Very Happy

As I said, my story was a character background. You'll be seeing Aatred V'sii in my Caligo Character pretty soon here. ^_^ (Ilaris and Syphir are secondary characters of mine, though if there was room to add them in the profile, I totally would. xD)

I really wanted to bring as much Latin in there as possible, as well as splurge on Sci-Fi-ness. xD If anyone was wondering, the word Subvolo is related to hovering in the air, and Celerity means speed. The idea is that Subvolo is a make of Hoverbikes (back then called Hoverrides, because no bicycles had washed up back then while the Renaissance was going on in the rest of the world), and the Celerity D.8 is a model from that manufacturer. ^_^ The Dimensional-Extraction generator is supposed to be one of the technologies the 'gods' gave them. And then, later, I even snuck in nanotechnology. xD I kept it benign so that we could say it hasn't been developed yet.

My concept of a pulse rifle for Caligo is a type of weaponry that by the time we get into the Blue Trinity era of things, present-day-ish, is somewhat outdated. They'll have more advanced weaponry by now. The pulse rifle makes big holes in things; it's favored by bandits because it causes a LOT of pain. Since Caligoans can't die, the idea is that they'll make their life miserable for a considerable length if they don't hand over whatever. ^_^

I came up with the name Vectra for the mountain university/city by crossing the words Vector and Spectra (plural of spectrum, as in a spectrum of light or color or whatever). The idea is that everybody comes here for higher learning, especially in the fields of Art.

So Aatred seems to be slightly perfectionist, or at least be the kind to set very, very high standards for things. Having lived over 200 years, he hasn't met The One For Him yet. His mentor, Syphir, is a contented bachelor, but Aatred doesn't think that's for him.
What I've done in the story is play with the love at first sight cliche--or try to. He meets her right after finding out all this doom and fate. So the question is, would he have had the same reaction to her--would he even have met her in the first place--if he hadn't just come out of that conversation with Qulan (whose Shade ability, for the curious, is Cross-Dimensional Cognition), or would they have been drawn together regardless, either at that time or sometime in the eventual future? See 'cause the thing is, the whole doomy fate thing all revolves around her. Wink I think, in a way, it doesn't matter how they got together or whether they would have under different circumstances. They met, and they fell in love, and who cares at that point whether it was fate or chance that brought them together? ^_^

Someone mentioned some of the romance is a bit corny, and I think I knew that even as I was writing it. Still, it's hard to fit in a whole romantic journey in a 5,000 word story unless that's the only thing you're covering in it. And also I haven't had that much practice writing the romance side, so that's probably in there, too. ^_^ The point is that they needed to be desperately lovesick in order to justify the laments and the horrible consequences of failure for the spectacular climax. xD

And, since there wasn't room to explain what exactly happened, here's a breakdown of the final act.
When Ilaris and Ayana are shot, the bandit realizes the shade is going to die. That means he committed murder, since now the girl is going to actually die from the wound instead of be in a lot of pain for a long time. Probably the first time he ever did something like that, so it hits him hard and he runs away from the scene.
At this point, Ayana isn't dead, but she's fading. Aatred comes up and sees everything at once. Ayana is obviously beyond hope, even if there was some sort of healer Shade nearby, there'd be no time. So everything is ripped away from Aatred and Faron in an instant, and they weren't even there to see it or do anything to stop it--and worse, they had been so close by. So close, yet so far.

So we have the final farewells, Aatred desperate not to lose what he probably sees as the only person he could ever love. And we get a glimpse of the way things are going, why Qulan had this whole vision to prevent his falling into hopeless despair. (I felt so bad having Aatred so mad at "fate," so I made sure to leave fate uncapitalized. xD)
By this point, both Ilaris and Ayana are dead dead, and yet not, because Ayana's Shade ability is already starting to manifest; it just needs a little help, a little more time, one last push. So they're becoming ghosts, like Charlie, in transition phase. Faron, grieving, doesn't realize he's using his ability (Water and Moisture Manipulation) on a grand scale fueled by such wild and strong feelings. The water and the lightning strike provides the kickstart, something like a defibrillator, the moment needed for Ayana's ability to completely manifest. The ability turns out to be Resurrection. Remember Ilaris's last wish? Caligo Shade abilities help facilitate the deepest wish of the Caligoan's heart. When Ilaris wished to be with her love forever--not only at the point of her death but also before, as their romance developed--that finally determined what Ayana's ability would be. (Resurrection is in the list of powers, in case anybody was wondering. ^_^)

So Ayana Resurrected, which meant Ayana's alive, which means the Immortality is in effect again, which means Ilaris comes back to life, too. ^_^ Hence, "I came back."

One part of the story I super, super enjoyed was the Mysterion. The Mysterion in this case is the words "Embers of Rain." Those three words are derived from the three riddles, they unify the three riddles, and they make you think of the three riddles all together in a new way--one tailored to the specific circumstances.
Knowing the structure from the beginning, I was able to work in some foreshadowing in this regard, like when Ilaris and Ayana are thinking about the future on their way to Vectra.

The poem I wrote at the end, I hope, helps tie together all the ways "Embers of Rain" is applied in the story. Very Happy

And, yeah, that's pretty much it. Sort of a behind-the-scenes featurette. xD
If anyone has any questions or further feedback, I'd love to use the opportunity to improve my own writing and soak in everyone else's perspectives on it. Tips on writing relationship-oriented romance, for example, I'm sure I could use. ^_^
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Re: FoG Writing Contest - Caligo

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