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Thread: Writing Challenge 2 - Setting

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    Writing Challenge 2 - Setting

    This is a challenge thread, where writers are asked to compete against each other. Writers are asked to present a single, short writing piece in response to the prompt. The winner will receive 200gp and 50xp. Runners up will receive 75gp. Entries should be shorter than Vignettes; 100 to 150 words. Brevity will be a challenge.

    Pick from the following options and set the scene in detail. You can choose macro or micro descriptions* to focus on, or both. It it must be clear which setting you've chosen. The winner will be the entry that provides the richest detail.

    *a macro description would be referring to a large area, a micro would be focusing on a small area. Examples are:

    Macro: The sun poured rich honey filled light over the golden wheat fields.

    Micro: the flower’s white petals reflected the warm summer’s sun with ivory brilliance.

    • A stormy afternoon
    • a summer day
    • a snowing winters day
    • a sweltering hot night
    • an afternoon’s sudden monsoon downpour


    If you're looking for inspiration, I suggest looking up a video that you can use to visualise the sort of descriptions that might work well for your choice.

    You have two weeks, closing 28th September!

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    Garron's Avatar

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    Over the horizon on the edge of visual notice, dark clouds swirled a deep violet rage in the distance. Lightning sliced throughout these malevolent clouds like a jagged jigsaw of wicked white light cast down from the gods, defiant and sporadic as if one had encountered trying times and angered. Thunder raged as the clouds barreled overhead this serene tropical getaway. Thick clear droplets started tearing through now darkened dapple sunlight now consumed by the summer afternoon thunderstorm, ripping through green leaves of both light and dark, sending them churning and plunging below under the weight of water and wind. Hungered shrapnel from tree and sky smashed through the forest floor packed tightly from centuries of decomposing death and vegetation, leaving overbearingly pungent tolls to overcome any sweet smells of summer. Intensity swelled as the storm overtook the calm and serene, turning it into a churning cauldron of a fury.

    Okay... this was difficult for the word limit allowed. Kudos on the writing challenge, Hysteria! I hope to see more in the future.
    Last edited by Garron; 09-28-2017 at 04:08 PM.
    "My life is simple, my food is plain, and my quarters are uncluttered. In all things, I have sought clarity. I face the troubles and problems of life and death willingly. Virtue, integrity and courage are my priorities. I can be approached, but never pushed; befriended but never coerced; killed but never shamed."

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    Ebivoulya's Avatar

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    Thick weeds choked the dry dirt that wandered between patchwork fields, and horseflies darted beneath the gray blanket draped across the world. Despite the supple scent of moist earth wafting, the timid nose of a famished field mouse twitched to taste a sourer tone. As it scurried to heed the wails of wilted young, the flap of wing and snick of claw carried its squeals to fade behind the wind.

    A simple homestead cowered too under those rumbling skies, and the sunken eyes that creaked now their laden way past paltry crops sported familiar colors. Within the weathered walls, worn hands clutched at a slumped form of blisters and toil; sobs soaked a simple dress, while soil drank deep of the price. Lightning defied the bitter quiet with a flickering crack, and a tiny stare blankly traced the trail of grain leading down dirt steps, to the empty cellar below.
    Sings we a dances of wolves, who smells fear and slays the coward,
    Sings we a dances of mans, who smells gold and slays his brother.



    Ebivoulya (Level 3)

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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Each one a greying pearl of tapered form and shimmering brilliance, the raindrops fell thickly from the heavens. Birthed in heavy, dark clouds about they lashed violently down to the earth with fearsome ferocity. Where they landed became sodden, the water immediately soaking into the wide stretch of fields, and soon small rivulets that never had been were flowing down into the stream, now threatening to burst it's banks.

    Sudden then, a roll of unmerciful thunder heralded the arrival of light. A glorious flash of illumination jaggedly severed the sky in two. It lit the world for a single, beautiful moment - then was gone. But still the rain fell. Still thunder grumbled, having stolen the afternoon in excellent thievery. Thick and heavy, onwards and constant. Waiting for the next lightening to curse the world once more.

    It would not be long before it did.
    Last edited by Philomel; 09-29-2017 at 04:53 AM.

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    Though the monsoon had long passed, it still rained in Scara Brae. From rooftops. From lampposts. From palisades and ramparts. The streets ran ragged with tributaries and market square was a silver lake. In doorways and alleyways citizens huddled together, deciding wherever or not their engagements were worth chancing the impending maelstrom. A monsoon was never singular, and the acrid clouds overhead put the city ill at ease.

    Despite the tension, beauty could be found in the floodwater. Children splashed in puddles and floated paper boats down cobbled hills. The season was short but furious, spilling out sewers and eroding landscaped gardens and wedding marques. Duffy wandered through the merchant district in search of inspiration, the cold prang in the air refreshing and invigorating. His bare feet slapped against the wet flagstones, a touch of blossom in the air and an earthen undertone proclaiming the start of another long spring.

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    Some quick background on this topic. I recently came back from a trip from Cambodia where, as well as seeing some pretty amazing temples, was exposed to some pretty amazing weather. My partner and I were walking along this river in the middle of the capital. It was hot, a bit overcast and humid. All of a sudden these kids gave that playful scream sound and ran passed us. A few drops of rain fell around us, then when I looked back there was a sheet of rain approaching. It was moving at about the pace of a jog, and amazingly thick. We ran to the road and crossed over, getting caught in the tail end of the rain. An hour and half later after eating at the closest undercover place we decided to just walk through the rain back to our hotel. We were drenched, completely so, after less than a minute walking through it. There were bits of trees, green leaves, sticks and such everywhere. It was a very visceral experience! This challenge was inspired by that event. Throw in the need for us to continually refer and update the reader of our threads on the setting, this tests how well you can add that into the start of a four paragraph post.

    I’ve put down a few notes for each of you. I liked every entry, and some of you really sought out a nook for your own styles.
    Garron:
    With the words so small, you end up having to cut out every superfluous statement you can. That said, with the amount of editing that was needed perhaps some of the repeated words (or similar words) might have occurred because you were cutting and chopping the word count. In the first three sentences you mention clouds, could you have cut that down to one, moving from clouds to lightning, to thunder without repeating where they were coming from?

    I really liked that you picked up on the affects of the rain, tearing through the trees and leaving hungered shrapnel across the forest floor. Especially the line about how the bits of trees landed on piles of previously dropped pieces. It created a nice image of an endless cycle!

    Ebivoulya:
    Very nice word choice, imagery, wonderful alliteration and… well I guess the word would be cadence. That said, a lot of the details you focus on were not relevant to the topic, at least directly. I loved the character portrayed from each of the two paragraphs!

    Philomel:
    Good, solid writing. You could perhaps add some additional personification or emotions in your writing to add some richness, but that might just be my personal preference. I liked how much action you go through as well, not skipping over the details of the growing streams of water or the lightning to keep the word count.

    Duffy:
    Nice approach! I loved the use of different senses, the cold, the slap of Duffy’s bare feet and the way you used children to explore the other side of the storm. I wasn’t expecting someone to do after the end of the storm, and in an urban setting. Well done!

    Duffy is the winner this time, but you all did a great job.

    Duffy receives 200gp and 50xp!
    Garron receives 75gp
    Philomel receives 75gp
    Ebivoulya receives 75gp

    My entry:
    A soft afternoon glow filled the apple orchard with luminous twilight green. Behind them dark storm clouds crawled across the sky towards us, slowly changing the light from the rich emerald to a technicolor mix of brown and green. The wind, previously calm, sprang to life causing the leaves to sing a tremendous chorus of crashing waves. The trees whipped from side to side, dozens of green leaves that were ripped from branches lifted into the air like swarms of disturbed bees in the summertime. The first few innocent drops of rain struck the ground with thick, wet thumps, and a moment later the colours of greens and browns had turned into the milky white, obscuring rain. Gone was the serenity of the afternoon, replaced with the primal roar of the torrential downpour. More than anything I remembered the smell, that rich earthy scent that hung in the air. Life.

    150 words!

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