Play With The Prose II — Challenge #1: Showdown

Yes, it’s back!  Play with the Prose was universally well liked, and with a few tweaks, a sequel has begun.  The biggest changes: all of the challenges will be Fiction 59 format (a complete story in 59 words or less), and competitions will be head-to-head, so with 16 contestants there will be 15 challenges total, followed by a post-season. There are three judges this time around, to forego any chance of a tie.

The first challenge had me paired up against Erik S; we were tasked with writing about a showdown.

Verlander shakes off the sign. He looks to first, then throws over to first, but Schumaker gets back easily. Count is still 2 balls and 2 strikes…

…so now all you need to roll is a 4 or a 9, and the lounge suite is yours!

Georgia placed the remote on the kitchen table and sat forward on the edge of her chair.

So how did I do? RESULTS

My submission was submission #1 — the judges’ comments:
MATTHEW: Story 2 suffered from a lack of atmosphere, unfortunately, although it was a strong story idea. In so few words, you have to sacrifice something, and the writer went for a sense of place over a sense of tension. And let’s face it, in a story about a showdown, tension’s what you’re looking for. Meanwhile, story 1 revealed itself marvelously. WINNER: #1

ANDY: I don’t really feel invested in Georgia’s story in the first one. I was hoping for a better payoff in #2, but the story kept me more engaged while I was reading it. So, #2.

NOVAK: Both stories here leave me wanting more. I have a feeling I’ll be saying that a lot judging Fiction59. Story 1 is a little more complete, but we don’t quite get access to the character’s motivation for changing the channel, which is something I think would wrap up the thought completely. The name Georgia is absolutely perfect for it. So much imagery caught up in that single name. Story 2, we’re left with all sorts of tension, but I want details. I think the writing in Story 2 showed a little something more, so it wins this battle for me.

  • My idea here was not so much a showdown between Verlander and the baserunner Schumaker, or between a game show contestant and Lady Luck, but between the ballgame and the game show.

Good job, Erik. My work is now cut out to get back to .500 again. Next challenge: a private journal entry. I already have an idea percolating…


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